U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren took bank regulators to task once again at a Senate Banking Committee hearing Thursday, pressing officials over their refusal to reveal how frequently big banks illegally foreclosed on homeowners in the mortgage crisis.
Warren said that regulators continue to shield big banks from prosecution, while letting home owners fall to the wayside.
In the hearing, as Think Progress reports, Warren refers to a settlement made in January between federal regulators and several major banks in which regulators "abandoned a case-by-case review of foreclosure fraud conducted by some of the nation’s largest banks in favor of a $9.3 billion settlement," letting big banks off the hook.
Regulators are now withholding information about how frequently the banks actually broke the law—a number which far exceeds what was originally agreed upon in the watered down January settlement.
So I just want to make sure I get this straight. Families get pennies on the dollar in the settlement for having been the victims of illegal activities or mistakes in the banks’ activities. You now know individual cases where the banks violated the law and you’re not going to tell the homeowners or at least it’s not clear if you’re going to do that? [...]
I just have to say, I thought this was about transparency...people want to know that their regulators are watching out for the American public, not for the banks. And the only way that we can evaluate that you are doing your job, is if you are making some of this information publicly available. So far you are not doing that...
"I want to know, on a bank by bank basis, the number of families that were illegally foreclosed on. Will you give me that information?" Warren asked Daniel P. Stipano, of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and Richard Ashton of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve.
Both refused to give the public the information or to agree to do so in the future.